When: 2:30 p.m.

Where: Tuscaloosa

TV/Radio: ESPN2; FM-93.9, AM-920, AM-1400

The series: Alabama leads 2-0

The line: Alabama by 36.5


Four-down territory

1. It’s Tua’s time: Tua Tagovailoa got the start last week against Louisville and has been named Alabama’s starting quarterback by Nick Saban. That means Tagovailoa will get the majority of the snaps. Saban said Alabama still will have some packages for Jalen Hurts. Tagovailoa was impressive in the win over Louisville.

2. Strong return game: Alabama freshman receiver/punt returner Jaylen Waddle was named the SEC Freshman of the Week for his performance against Louisville. In his Alabama debut, the Houston native returned four punts for 80 yards with a long of 31. He also caught three passes for 66 yards, including a 49-yard reception to set up the Crimson Tide’s third touchdown. Josh Jacobs added a 77-yard kickoff return for a score, Alabama’s first since Kenyon Drake did it in the 2016 national championship game vs. Clemson.

3. Stopping Hansen: Arkansas State senior quarterback Justice Hansen is coming of a record-setting performance for the Red Wolves in a 48-21 win over Southeast Missouri. Hansen threw a school-record six touchdown passes while completing 26 of 36 passes. He spread the wealth, too, as he targeted six different receivers on his TD tosses. He was the first Sun Belt Conference quarterback to throw for six or more touchdowns in a game since Giovanny Vizza of North Texas had eight against Navy in 2007.

4. Diverse run game: No running back or quarterback put up big numbers in the rushing attack against Louisville, but the Tide finished with 230 yards. Nine players logged carries, led by Damien Harris’ 55 yards. Josh Jacobs, Najee Harris and Tagovailoa each had touchdown runs.


Key matchup

Alabama's defensive line vs. Arkansas State offensive line

Alabama needs to get some pressure on Hansen or the senior quarterback has the ability to produce some big numbers with a deep corps of receivers. To get to Hansen, Alabama will need to whip an offensive line that allowed no sacks in last week's win over Southeast Missouri.

Player of the Week

Damien Harris, RB

Harris had a mostly quiet game against Louisville, but expect his workload to increase this week as Alabama prepares for SEC play next week. He carried only seven times and had a 32-yard run, but failed to reach the end zone. Harris is trying to rush for 1,000 yards for the third consecutive season.


By the numbers

1: Career interceptions and interception returns for a touchdown by Shyheim Carter, who took one back 45 yards against Louisville.

11: Number of tackles for loss recorded by Alabama for 32 yards in losses during the opening win against Louisville.

65: Number of players who got into the game against Louisville.

77: Wins in home openers for Alabama in 90 games.



Alabama 49, Arkansas State 14

Arkansas State might actually be a better team than the one Alabama played last week in its opener. The Red Wolves of the Sun Belt Conference are known to be able to hang with Power Five teams, but Alabama is no middle-of-the-road name brand opponent. Arkansas State might hang around for a little bit, but Tua and company likely will put up some big numbers. The Tide should have things well in hand by halftime.

— Gregg Dewalt


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